National Executive Committee

National Committee

Katherine (Kat) Holt
President
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Kia ora, I joined the society in 2004 as a PhD student. I've served on the National Committee since 2009, with a short break from 2017-2019. My research is concentrated on palynology (pollen analysis) with a focus on Quaternary environmental reconstructions. I have a special interest in the Quaternary history of the Chatham Islands, where I carried out my PhD research. I'm really pleased to be able to continue as a National Committee member, and very proud of the work the Society does in supporting the Geoscience community in Aotearoa. 

Sam McColl
Vice President
Publications Sales
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I'm a Senior Lecturer at Massey University in the Geosciences Group. My research as a geomorphologist focuses on hillslope and alpine landscape processes, evolution, and hazards. On the GSNZ national committee I have responsibilities for the sales and distribution of the GSNZ publications.
Alan Orpin
Treasurer
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I have been a member of the Society since the early 90's as a student and I'm the current Treasurer of the GSNZ, based at NIWA Wellington. My current research is primarily focused on post-glacial marine dispersal and depositional events on continental shelves, slopes and basins. This work includes the application of detailed analysis of sediment cores, event chronology, and paleoseismology, in concert with sedimentary physical properties, high resolution seismic, multibeam bathymetry and backscatter. It embraces a range of environmental drivers for sedimentary processes including climate, tectonics, volcanism, and human-induced land-use change. In addition, my research and commercial activities are ongoing into techniques for seafloor characterization and quantifying sediment dispersal.

Jenny Stein
Secretary
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Kia ora, I am a free-lance geologist and science communicator with a diverse background in mineral exploration, teaching, research and presenting scientific information in ways that are accessible and meaningful to non-scientists. I joined the GSNZ National Committee in 2020 and look forward to helping promote geoscience around New Zealand and overseas.

James Scott
Immediate Past President
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I am interesteed in geochemical processes spanning the shallow Earth, to the evolution of Earth’s mantle, to the formation of the solar nebula.
Janis Russell
Newsletter Editor
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I am the current newsletter editor for GSNZ and I am based in Christchurch.

Additionally, I am a science communicator and hold a master’s degree in that field from the University of Otago. My research examined geotourism as a vehicle for science communication. How do people interpret landscape features on their travels and what do they think about geology and its conservation? What do they understand about our geological context? I followed a visitor-centred, interpretive approach to explore these questions and looked at the role of geotourism for communicating science, in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Insight from the findings informed the design, and content, of a multimedia e-book guide to the geology and landscape of The Catlins.

As a photographer, videographer, writer and designer, I’m keen to raise the profile and appeal of geoscience to citizens of Aotearoa and visitors alike. 

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Matthew (Matt) Sagar
Publications Convenor
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I am a geochronologist/sedimentologist at GNS Science, Lower Hutt. My research mainly involves using geology, petrology and various radiometric dating techniques to understand the geological evolution of the New Zealand continent (Zealandia) over the past ~500 million years. As the Publications Convenor I am primarily responsible for facilitating and promoting new GSNZ publications.

Nicki Sayers
Administrator
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Nicki has been the GSNZ Administrator since October 2018. In addition she works three days a week for Victoria University of Wellington in the Development Office. She has nearly 20 year's experience working in the non-profit sector and has philanthropic research, administration, marketing and communications experience. Nicki is the first point of contact for all member enquiries.
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Alex Nichols
Member
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Lecturer in petrology at the University of Canterbury. My research focuses on the geochemistry of volcanic rocks, in particular, the role volatiles play in magmatic processes from source to eruption. I use a variety of in-situ micro-analytical techniques (e.g., electron microprobe, laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy) to analyse silicate glass and minerals.
Angela Griffin
Member
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Angela Griffin is a geologist in the Basin Analysis Team at GNS in Lower Hutt, and has been working at GNS Science for the last 12 years. She holds an MSc in Earth Science and Geography from the University of Waikato. Angela’s professional interests were predominantly centred around borehole image log and wireline log analysis, however since the dis-establishment of government-funded petroleum geoscience research at GNS, Angela is currently retraining and redeploying her skills in other areas of research, in particular liquefaction and groundwater studies. Angela is also the project leader of GNS’s carbon emissions reduction plan.

Andrew La Croix
Member
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Andrew has been a co-opted member of the GSNZ National Committee since 2020. He is a Lecturer in Sedimentary Geology at the University of Waikato. Andrew is originally from Canada, and arrived in New Zealand in 2019 after living and working in Brisbane as a Postdoctoral Researcher. Andrew is keen about geological field work, as well as science education and communication. In his spare time he likes to swim, hike, and spend time with his family.
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Jenni Hopkins
Member
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Jenni is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow who currently works and teaches at Victoria University of Wellington (VUW). She completed her PhD in 2015 working on volcanism and tephrochronology in the Auckland Volcanic Field. Since graduating, Jenni has worked with colleagues at; GNS, NIWA, DEVORA, Auckland University, Waikato University and VUW on various volcanological projects focusing on tephra and cryptotephra research.
Sebastian Naeher
Member
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I am Organic Geochemist/Biogeochemist at GNS Science and Lead Scientist of our GNS/VUW Organic Geochemistry Laboratory. My research is focused on biomarkers (organic compounds, often called molecular fossils), and their compound-specific stable isotope composition to reconstruct environmental and climate changes from sediments (lakes, coastal and marine environments), soils, sedimentary rocks and petroleum. I am also Adjunct Teaching Fellow at Victoria University of Wellington and serve as Associate Editor of Biogeosciences, NZ Journal of Geology and Geophysics and NZ Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research. I am also the Convener of Geochemistry Special Interest Group.

Steph Coursey
Member
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Kia ora, I'm a PhD student at Massey University. I joined the Society in 2019 as an undergrad student, and joined the GSNZ National Committee in 2021 as the Student Representative. My PhD research, a joint project between Massey University and NIWA, focuses on the post-glacial geomorphic development of the Lake Wakatipu basin and the landslide-related hazards within dynamic alpine lake environments. As student rep, I'm keen to help increase student engagement with the Society. 

Michael Rowe
Member
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I have been a resident of New Zealand since 2013 working as a geochemist for the University of Auckland, School of Environment in the Earth Sciences. Although my PhD is in igneous/high-temp geochemistry and petrology, nowadays, my research and supervision really focuses on the whole-Earth system, primarily looking at the space where fluids and minerals overlap. However, my specialty really is in finding new ways to problem-solve with geochemistry, so I have collaborations crossing over into archaeology, engineering, environmental science, and planetary sciences.
Nicola Litchfield
Member
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I'm a paleoseismologist/tectonic geomorphologist at GNS Science, Lower Hutt. I joined the GSNZ in 1996 and started working at GNS in 2001. My research focuses on using landforms (e.g., marine terraces) to study past earthquakes on active faults or the Hikurangi Subduction Zone. I also map and characterise active faults for seismic hazard assessments. I am an Associate Editor of the Bulletin of Seismological Society of America and am the science leader of the It's Our Fault research programme.